No doubt about it, tiny homes and owning less has become big throughout the US. There are TV shows now about people scaling down and moving their families into much smaller dwellings.
So what do you really need? First, how many people live in your home?
If you are a couple or a single individual, these things will apply to you. So as you read these tips, keep in mind that this is for 1-2 individuals per household.
Kitchens: Most of you know that I had the stove in my one-bedroom patio apartment taken out by the management. I turned many heads both online and in this complex.
But I really needed a portable washer/dryer (in one unit) more than I felt I needed a stove, as I don't cook as much as I once did. Plus, I have an ankle injury that makes it hard to take my laundry to a laundromat.
This unit washes, then you turn it to dry. Since it isn't plumbed, it runs on a 110. Which means it takes a long time to wash and dry. Mostly to dry. But the complex where I live doesn't have plumbing for washers, so, after much research, this was what I chose to do.
I take towels out after a short time and hang them over chairs to dry. Clothing I have never dried all the way. It shortens the life of clothing to dry them all the way.
So the stove went, replaced in that exact spot by the refrigerator. And the washer/dryer replaced the spot that was taken up by the refrigerator. I found that this layout actually looked more pleasing.
I had a microwave, a toaster, and a panani maker. Later I purchased a Breville smart oven, that will cook and bake most anything. I bought an electric skillet that I have yet to use. So it seems I didn't need that as much as I thought. And I purchased a crock pot.
The Breville and microwave are on what I call my cooking station. Which is a kitchen cart on wheels that no one wanted. I painted it and it accommodates what I need nicely.
The Breville is my favorite to use. I made a pumpkin pie this week, and I am very pleased with how well it cooks everything.
So if I had to choose what I really like/need, it would be the microwave, the Breville and the crockpot. And I probably don't even need the microwave.
Dining Rooms Or Spaces: Moving on to the dining area, which is quite small and an extension of the living area. I have a small table found at a garage sale ($10), and two indoor/outdoor chairs that are quite comfy. If needed, they could go out to my large privacy fenced patio to provide seating.
I used a potting bench I've had for years to use as my coffee station. Underneath, where I use to put potting soil and tools, I now put paper towels, dog food, etc. Not an inch is wasted.
In the living room, I scaled down from a couch and recliners to a chaise couch and two wicker indoor/outdoor chairs. Once again, these chairs could also be used outdoors, doubling their value for me. And they are light-weight.
Dual Purpose Items: When you live in a small space or are simply looking to downsize, use things that can serve dual purposes.
At my old house, I had an office. But here I use a sewing machine table in my bedroom for my desktop computer.
Books: I am a book lover. Not a Nook or Kindle lover, but a true book lover. Three or four times a year I go through my books in the bedroom book shelves and give many away.
What To Keep/What To Purge? Well, that is a personal choice of course. But I personally purged many things in the kitchen, such as dishes and glasses and pots and pans.
Well, do the math. You don't need three sets or even two sets of anything. One will do fine. The rest is just overkill.
Open Cabinets: I have few cabinets, and three have no doors, because I prefer that look and it visually opens up the small space.
I find that open cabinets keep you organized.
People always worry about dust, but I've only dusted underneath everything once. (Sometimes I think people use that as a reason to keep the doors on and crammed full!)
I have my food staples in one cabinet, as there is no pantry. So I have to be cautious about how much I buy.
I also purged much of what was in my bedroom walk-in closet, so now I have one shelf designated for when I buy extra (as I shop online so much) because I can line coffee, cereal, etc. up on the closet shelf.
Look Vertical: I bought two small shelves for $3 each, painted them, and placed them above my coffee station. They are just big enough to hold coffee mugs with dishes behind them.
I hang quilts on the walls because I don't want to keep them in a trunk all folded up where I can't enjoy looking at them. They can be used as art!
Knick-Knacks: Each time I've moved, which is twice now in the past three years, I have purged a lot in terms of knick-knacks before each move. Each time I've let go of at least one more little collection I had previously told myself I couldn't ever give up.
But I did, and I found I don't miss them. So off they went to a good friend.
Gallery Walls: Going vertical once again, I createe a gallery wall. I absolutely love mine. I sit here on the couch and it is directly across from me. I can enjoy the things I truly love, and am not wasting precious horizontal space.
Bed Linens: I only have one bed, so I don't need a lot of bed linens. I have a double bed, and picked it up for $35. I don't like matchy-match linens on my bed. I like to make it fun and put various colors together, just like with dishes.
Storage: Storage is always a biggie. I have two vintage picnic baskets that I've been toting around for years. And I won't get rid of them. Because you can store quite a bit in a picnic basket. So it serves more than one need. I like the aesthetic value, plus the added bonus of storage.
When the weather is nice, I spend a lot of time with the pupsters out here on the patio. Seating space on your patio extends your living space. Plus there are all the pretty plants and birds to enjoy.
I am sitting here in the living room in front of one of my two stoves enjoying the heat. It is snowing outside. What more can one ask for?
(Read this wonderful article from Apartment Therapy about what to get rid of and what to keep in the kitchen.)
Here is a great blog about living a minimalist life. A family decided this was the way to go and are very happy with their decision.
So are you ready to box up things for charity yet? Or are you satisfied with the status quo?